Making money with YouTube is not as hard as you would expect, and there are many ways to do this. Some methods are only possible if your channel is already very popular, but don’t be discouraged – even a smaller channel can get some money if people enjoy what you do and want to support you.
You may not be able to quit your daily job, but with a little bit of work you can at least cover your costs and maybe turn your channel into a lucrative side-hustle.
No matter how you decide to make money on YouTube, make sure you always make this known to your viewers. YouTube’s terms of service explain how you can approach this.
AdSense is the easiest way to make money on YouTube, provided your channel is popular enough. If you are approved to participate, you will receive a small discount on the advertisements in your videos.
Before you can become an AdSense member, you must participate in the YouTube Partner Program, which has some requirements:
Follow the YouTube partner program policies
Live in a country where the program is available (see the full list)
Have more than 4,000 hours of public hours in the last five months
Have more than 1,000 subscribers
Have a linked Google AdSense account (sign up for free)
Even if you do not yet meet the requirements for public waiting hours and subscribers, you can sign up to have your account assessed when it reaches the necessary milestones. Sign in to YouTube, click on your account icon in the top right corner and select “Creator Studio”. Select “Channel” and click on “Status and functions.” Scroll to “Monetize” and check “OK”.
Your account will then be immediately submitted to YouTube for review if you already meet the required numbers or later if that is not the case.
The assessment process includes automatic systems and human assessors, so expect it to take a while. You can view the status of your app on the YouTube revenue-generating page.
If you are approved, you are ready to go. If that is not the case, you do not have to worry. You can take the necessary steps to ensure that your channel meets the requirements and tries again in 30 days.
The Merchandise Shelf is a collaboration between YouTube and Teespring – a company that specializes in promotional T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and other items.
To be eligible for the Merchandise Shelf, you must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program (described above), have at least 10,000 subscribers, and have no Community Guideline Attacks against your name. In short, your reputation must be flawless.
If you are in a country with access to the YouTube partner program, you can set up a merchandise shelf, but only viewers in selected countries can purchase your brand goodies (see the full list).
You design your merchandise by uploading illustrations to the Design Launcher and Teespring prints items when they are ordered and sends them to your viewers. You receive a discount on the profit for every sale.
Do you not yet have 10,000 subscribers? Don’t worry, there are other ways to sell branded goods. Sites such as Spreadshop (worldwide) and Spreadshirt (in the UK only) make it easy to design your own T-shirts, which are printed on demand and sent directly to your enthusiastic viewers without having to touch anything.
Because these sites are not directly integrated with YouTube, you must share the link to your branded items in your video descriptions and draw attention to them in the videos themselves.
If you often use products in your videos (for example, for a self-study on makeup), it is worth investigating store partner programs. Some programs allow everyone to become a member, but most have an approval process where you have to prove that your channel has enough viewers to be a good investment. Amazon Affiliates is one of the easiest to connect, and perhaps the most useful.
Once approved, you can provide custom links to products in your video descriptions so that the seller knows that the customer has reached the store through your channel. If the viewer chooses to buy something, you earn a small commission (different sellers offer different rates). The products will not cost your viewers anything extra.
If your channel gets off the ground, you may find companies that want to sponsor your messages. You can do this by approaching them directly (look at sponsored videos like yours to find out which may be susceptible to the idea), or through a third party such as Famebit, which acts as an agent to trade brands with YouTubers to connect.
The conditions for partnerships vary enormously: the sponsor can be happy that you simply mention their product, they may be open to your pitching video ideas, or they have their own suggestions, it’s up to you and you to make a deal to think that suits you both, and set a suitable price.
Always make it as clear as possible if you’ve worked with a brand to make a video – not just to make sure you meet the YouTube Terms of Service, but to maintain the trust of your viewers.
Patreon is a kind of crowd-funding tool for fans to support their favorite artists and makers, and it might be perfect if you have passionate viewers who are willing to help cover the costs of creating more content. Money earned through Patreon can go to your general costs, or you can create special content as a bonus for your paying “customers.”
Because it is a subscription platform, Patreon means that you can be sure that you receive a certain amount every month, which offers some stability.
However, Patreon is not free and there are various costs associated with setting up your account, transferring payments to customers and transferring money to your account. View the full details.